Interventions to control virus transmission during an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever: experience from Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179 Suppl 1:S263-7. doi: 10.1086/514320.

Abstract

On 6 May 1995, the Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) coordinator in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), received a request for assistance for what was believed to be a concurrent outbreak of bacillary dysentery and viral hemorrhagic fever (suspected Ebola hemorrhagic fever [EHF]) in the town of Kikwit, DRC. On 11 May, the MSF intervention team assessed Kikwit General Hospital. This initial assessment revealed a nonfunctional isolation ward for suspected EHF cases; a lack of water and electricity; no waste disposal system; and no protective gear for medical staff. The priorities set by MSF were to establish a functional isolation ward to deal with EHF and to distribute protective supplies to individuals who were involved with patient care. Before the intervention, 67 health workers contracted EHF; after the initiation of control measures, just 3 cases were reported among health staff and none among Red Cross volunteers involved in body burial.

MeSH terms

  • Burial
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / transmission
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / instrumentation
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Patient Isolation
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Red Cross